Thursday, June 29, 2006


I have been consciously relaxing - seems like thats hard to do.
My life is so wound up and go go go that its hard to break away sometimes.

Jude and I took advantage of my folks being here to go out to the gold class cinemas the other night. La-z-boys, waited food and drinks during the movie and an intimate cinema. We watched Adam Sandler's new movie Click.

It was a telling message and one that I took to heart.

We played kick the ball and frisbee in the park the other day - lots of pics on Judes website.

Saturday we went to a historic aircraft restoration project museum. The Bristol Beaufort being restored was built in Australia under licence during WW2. Awesome machine and the restoration project is amazing.

Tomorrow we are heading to a plant nursery for another school outing. Friday we will head to the beach for a play again.

In the middle of that I have been fixing servers, installing a new laptop ready for my next week away - preparing clients work and writing lots of emails. I have even installed Windows Vista on a machine for a trial. More on that on the tech tips website shortly.

It was a pity that Australia bowed out of the World Cup with a controversial last minute penalty. I have watched a lot of the games so far and shall watch the 1/4 finals and semi finals in the lead up to the final. Ladder and news on the Fifa site for those who are interested.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Travelling to Emerald

In a few minutes I will be getting in the rental car (a Holden Commodore) and driving the 150 Kms to Emerald. First I will stop at Tieri - to get some lunch - because I left my lunch behind this morning. I was too excited by Australia drawing 2-2 against Croatia and going into the second round of the World Cup to remember to take my lunch!
Then I will drive to Capella, turn left and drive to Emerald. There I will catch a DeHavilland Dash 8 Turbo Prop plane to Brisbane.
Once I land at the domestic airport terminal I will catch the train to the international terminal where I will meet up with my folks who are flying in from New Zealand this afternoon. As they are renting a car I will be able to catch a ride home with them.
It will be good to be home!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Power Spikes are NOT good

We had a high voltage power spike in our street last week. The power went off for a couple of hours. Initially we thought we had got away scot free when the power came back on and we turned everything back on. Slowly however we have come to realise the damage.
So far we have had one computer that had a hard drive fail, a power supply fail and the motherboard not report correctly in the bios. PC failed to boot. I have replaced the mb, CPU, ram, hard drive and power supply and rebuilt that computer. This computer had not been protected by a UPS.
The UPS on the SBS server took the hit and the battery now fails to hold a charge properly. It would appear that the SBS server took some damage also as it now intermittently turns off or restarts. Not good. I will need to replace this machine in order to get reliability back.
Another UPS now clicks on and off frequently - I am not sure why. It was protecting the Linux server - our internet gateway. I think this UPS needs replacing also.
The Laptop which wasn't on a UPS now will not boot up correctly - it can boot into safe mode with no network support only. As soon as you try and boot up in any other mode it refuses to login. I'm hoping that this is just requires an OS reinstall, but suspect it is more sinister than this. The hard drive does not sound like it is healthy - it grinds and whirs away when it is trying to boot and log in.

The only good news in all this is that we a) have an insurance policy for this very thing and b) the power company ENERGEX has admitted that there was a high voltage power spike and are sending us a letter to use with our insurance claim.

Oh and we get a bunch of new computer gear!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lots of different things this week

Wednesday we went shopping
I had to buy prizes for the LAN
So off we went to do that. After buying $300 of prizes I bought geomag for the kids. This is a magnetic connected thing for want of a better word. Think meccano or lego with magnets instead of nuts and bolts.
Then Thursday I went out for business. I bought 2 pcs, had a haircut, took some clients to lunch and collected data from 2 other clients. Tough day! Once I got home I started building and configuring the pcs with Jamie. After 3 hours sleep I headed for the airport to fly to Sydney for a Microsoft conference - vista and office 2007.
Now I am at a hotel in Sydney.

PS I blogged this from my phone!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Australia wins against Japan

We have been having a world cup soccer fest here the last few days - and will do for the next few weeks!

Last week we watched an absolutely memorable moment. Not only was it Australia's first game in the World Cup Finals for 32 years it was also their first win and their first goal scored.
We had to wait for it though. After going down 1-0 about 20 minutes into the first half it didn't look good. In fact although Australia pressed hard and dominated the play Japan showed just how dangerous they were as numerous times after a period of 4-5 minutes of intensive attack from Australia it would result in a turnover and next thing 2 Japanese attackers would be streaking toward our goal with a barebones defence in place. However they did a stirling job and turned away all attempts.

With around 6 minutes to go there was a mixup in the Japanese goal mouth from a corner and Tim Cahill slotted the equaliser. The noise level in the stadium went through the roof and hope abounded in the lounge room. All thoughts of tiredness left and we sat on the edge of our seats to watch in amazement as just a few minutes later Tim Cahill hit another wonder from a set piece to bounce heartstoppingly off both goal posts before ending up inside the net. We leapt off our chairs screaming (it was nearly 1 am and we woke up the dog and the wife). Now we were biting our nails as we went into the final 3 minutes of added time.

Could we hang on?

Japan pressed us hard, but then on a counter attack John Aloisi pretty much ignored the defender and went straight round him with an awesome body swerve and a gentle touch to his right setting up his left foot for a strike at goal. He finished it clinically and we went wild!
About 60 seconds later the ref blew the final whistle!. 3-1 - we had won our first ever world cup game and scored not 1 but 3 goals.

Tomorrow morning at 5am we will watch Brazil play Croatia (the other 2 teams in our group). Who knows we may end up playing USA if they could win their group. Then Phillip and I would be in opposition! Alternatively if they come second and we win (not likely with Brazil in our group) we would play off also.

Monday, June 12, 2006


The sound of silence is a rare thing in a house with 4 children!
We went out to a chinese restaurant tonight for dinner. The normal hilarity ensued including one child actually managing to do number 1 and number 2 under the table.
However the best moment was when the deep fried ice cream desert came out... and there was silence!

In other news...
Last night we had home group shared meal and study and that was great. There were 7 adults and 10 kids. After a great meal we did study number 5 in John Ortbergs study entitled "If you want to walk on water you got to get out of the boat." The study was about living in the cave of fear and we explored some techniques for leaving the cave.
Today we went to the beach and Jude got out of a cave of fear by riding on the mini motorbike. She had a blast motoring off up the sand out of sight before coming flying back. Miranda and Jadeen also rode, Jadeen learning how to steer the bike in deep sand ruts and Miranda learning how to turn without falling off. Erin came for a ride up the beach with me and she giggled the entire way!. Mercedes had a ride back along the track to where the car was parked; she had fun also.
(I pulled a wheelstand on the lawn at home when I went to wash it and landed smack on my bum ripping a good pair of shorts!)
We also played horseshoes, flew the frisbee and wrote a great big Jesus Loves U in the sand with a heart instead of Loves.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

AFL and clean floors

Last night we went to the AFL and watched the Lions get beaten narrowly by the Crows. It was a great game - fought out in constant drizzle. We were out of the rain under the second tier right behind the goals. The big screen was at the other end of the ground completely visible to us as well. I took the staff and their partners as well as Miranda. We had a great adventure!

Today I felt like Doug - I swept and washed floors for 2 hours! I also cleaned the cupboard under the kitchen sink and behind the dishwasher where some mice had been living before they ate the bait I kndly gave them. I trust they are dead now!

Jude went off to the show this afternoon to pick up the entries she and the kids had made. I put the two littlest ones in the bath and then went to the computer to do some work. I forgot that it was filling up. Now this is not your normal bath tub, but a huge 3 corner tub that most of the family can fit in simultaneously.
A few minutes later I hear the Erin calling out to me and on venturing into the ensuite found a nice flood with the bath overflowing and both kids up to their necks jumping up and down splashing a tsunami out onto the floor. Guess the bathroom floor is washed now too!

World Cup Opening Ceremony was a Joke

I haven't had much sleep the last couple of days, and probably won't for the next 4 weeks as the world cup plays out.
I am not watching all the games, like one of my friends is who took 4 weeks of work to watch and bought a hard drive recorder as well!
I woke the two eldest Miranda and Jadeen up to watch the opening ceremony which was on at 12 am the other night.
I watched in amazement as the most bizarre ceremony I have ever seen unfolded.
Can't understand what hip hop and head spinning dancers had to do with either Germany or soccer. Could understand the Lederhosen clad drummers, but the rest was just "strange". What was with the women with the funny head gear and huge dresses that they hoisted up on wires?
At least the soccer has been great!

Friday, June 09, 2006

No More Bland!

Phillip accused me of being bland lately. Probably fair. I admit in the last few months this blog has suffered from my "being busy".
So in the interests of being less bland (thanks Phillip for the wake up call) I will return to my normal programming.

First an update.

The last 5 months have been hectic to say the least.
I am now the Finance Manager of my church, the Management Accountant for another client as well as contracting in the IT world and also running numerous side contracts some with sub contractors and some by myself.
Then there is the other business I own that does all the web development and hosting and PC sales, upgrades and repairs. I have one lad working for me whom I am teaching this business slowly in order to take some of the load me and that is working out well.
Finally we have still got the monthly LAN parties to organise and run.

That's the work component. Then of course I have a wife and 4 lovely daughters. It is a priority of mine to put time to them and this has meant my blogging has suffered - not a bad choice.

This week I have been at a coal mine - 1000kms from home - flying up and driving out to the site and I will fly back today. I stay in a guesthouse in the closest town and I drive 28kms each day to the mine site and back.
So far this week I have had to slow down to miss two kangaroos (both about 1.5 metres high) an emu (about 2.5 metres high) and an eagle (with a wing span of about 2 metres). There have also been numerous dead roos on the road and yesterday there was an Alfa Romeo that had obviously hit a roo parked on the side of the road with a huge dent in the bonnet and front bar.

I reckon that the roos must be costing the insurance companies here in Central Queensland an absolute fortune. They are of plague proportions in this country now with restrictions on shooting them and culling them. I have shot them for sport, though when they stand still it isn't much of a contest. However a roo on the run at night can be hard to hit and is a great shot to bring down. I have also tried hunting them with a shotgun but the mongrels are too cagey. It is very hard to get within range. Roo meat is also real nice. We had roo steaks and sausages the other week for dinner.

Well thats it for now - and I promise no more bland Tim!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Website Overhaul Plans

I am planning a major overhaul of this website in the near future.

There are a number of reasons for doing this, in no particular order:
Its time for a change - this website is almost 2 years old in its current format
I want to use Drupal
I want to give users better access to archives, search functionality and categorisation and indexing
I want a better image gallery option
I want interactive polls and forums included
I want to allow users the ability to contribute also

However I also want to make sure that I involve my readers - thousands of them - thanks for coming and reading.
To achieve this I want you to assist me with the makeover by having your say about what you like, dislike etc about the site.
I am posting this article on each part of the Spyjournal website.

So email me or comment below this article with some answers please
Do you read by RSS or on the web page? (RSS Readers - please take the time to either email me or comment)
Which browser do you use?
Do you come regularly (book marked) or did you come from a search engine?
Would you like to contribute to this site?
What do you like most?
What do you hate the most?
Anything else you can think of?

Thanks and I will keep you updated. When I have a beta version up I will invite you to review it.